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So Totally
So Totally

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love her writing style, June 15, 2012
This review is from: So Totally (Kindle Edition)
2 in 1 - and I really enjoyed both books! Overall, I give this bundle a 4,5/5 rating.

TOTALLY TUBULAR - 4/5 stars

I'm always a bit skeptical when it comes to time-travel stories. Carri, the protagonist, accidentally travels back in time when she's attending an 80s dance at her school. She actually goes back to the 80s and the first person she meets is her mother - who is a teenager herself. I liked the relationship between Carri and her mother. I also enjoyed that Carri tries to come up with a plan to find out more about her situation by befriending the resident nerds. And yes, I admit it: I have a soft spot for nerds! Not only me: Carri falls in love with one of them - Nate. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but Nate actually is somehow involved in Carri's peculiar situation. Also I'm not a big fan of insta-love, I did like Nate and Carrie together. They do get to know each other better and the development of their relationship is very sweet. It does have it tough moments, though.

If you're a fan of the 80s in general, especially its pop culture, or if you appreciate a wonderfully sarcastic narrator, this is the book for you. I was sold almost right from the beginning, but when Carri questioned why she traveled back in time and if it served a higher purpose, I knew that I would end up loving this book!

Here's a little quote: "Was I suddenly responsible for saving the world or something? Should I warn everyone ahead of time of global warming? Could I save Britney Spears? What about the Macarena - was I supposed to turn my cheek to that one, or fight for the dignity of the world, not to mention all that was holy?"

Although this is a fun read, it also deals with more serious issues: Carri's parents are divorced, her mom drinks too much, and her father is about to get married again. Carri learns more about her mom as a teen and how certain events still affect her as an adult, plus she herself grows as a character.

What I didn't like: the fact that nobody really questioned Carri's background story and that she stayed with her friend and her parents (aka her own mom and grandparents) for several weeks without the parents/grandparents wanting to at least once talk to Carri's parents. I'm fine with the somewhat open ending of the story and kind of relieved that this book doesn't try to wrap up everything - this is usually where most time-travel stories mess up. I would have loved to learn a tiny bit more, though, and I can imagine that some readers out there might be a little disappointed by the way the story ends.

SO OVER YOU - 5/5 stars

Yet another wonderful story! I really enjoy Hayes' writing style and her characters. I especially like the minor characters in this story - yes, I mean you, Tyler! Layney has to share the position as editor of her school paper with Jimmy Foster, a guy she hates. The hate is mutual. The banter between them is very fun to read - I loved the dialogue! Jimmy challenges Layney to take on an assignment on which she has to date twelve different guys. She accepts. As the story progresses, you get to learn that there is a bit of history between Layney and Jimmy and that they were really friends - and a bit more - before they turned into each other's arch nemesis.

Apart from all the dates, we learn more about Layney and the reason why she acts and treats people, especially Jimmy, the way she does. Jimmy, although a pest (a cute one!) at times, always has her back. And exactly this relationship between Layney and Jimmy makes this book such a good read! Sure, "So Over You" has lots of fun moments, but in the end, it also deals with serious topics such as trust issues. I enjoyed this book from the first until the very last page. Especially the last page. I would definitely recommend it!


Loving Summer (Loving Summer Series Book 1)
Loving Summer (Loving Summer Series Book 1)
Price: $2.99

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2.5 stars for a read which is easily forgotten, June 3, 2012
**Why I read this book

Once again, I relied on other amazon reviews as well as the "Look Inside" Option. I really liked the beginning and the whole premise of the book, so it was an easy buy. I've read the whole story in only a few hours. I'm not sure, but it seems to be shorter than the average YA novel.

**My opinion

I really wanted to like this book. You have no idea how much I wanted to like it. But I didn't. Kailin Gow is a talented writer; she's written everything very fluently. I also liked the fact that Summer, the protagonist, is pretty and she knows it. She's not one of those I-can't-believe-anyone-finds-me-attractive girls. I didn't like the characters which are pretty much cookie cutter characters (Drew = hot man whore; Nat = sensible good boy; Astor = famous teen actor) and a whole bunch of unrealistic scenarios which went down. (More details in the spoilers below)

There are changes in the point of view later in the novel which I find irritating. Maybe it's just me, but either stick to one POV or make it clear from the very beginning that you'll switch. I do understand why Gow suddenly opts for a chapter in Drew's POV halfway into the book since he was pictured as the man whore/bad boy who only likes to stir up trouble. Without it, the reader wouldn't know how deep and real his feelings for Summer are. It seems to me that the writer was suddenly stuck between a rock and a hard place because she had Drew, a character which she wanted to be a contestant for Summer's affections, but she couldn't figure out a way to make him likeable through his actions alone. (Just a guess.)

Speaking of likeable characters: maybe the biggest problem I have with this book aren't the unrealistic scenarios, but the fact that I simply couldn't warm up to Summer. She's supposed to be a pretty AND nice girl, yet I can't see it. Her actions beg to differ. (More in the spoilers) The book ended without a bang which is just as well and not a problem for me.

**My rating

Predictable plot, flat characters, unrealistic scenarios, often cheesy dialogue, a story which didn't make an impression on me at all: I give it 2.5 stars = 3 amazon stars. I only give 1 star to stories I really, really dislike and/or couldn't finish reading. Gow's writing and the editing is excellent, that's why this story deserves to be rated better than other stories I've read and have awarded 2 stars. (Tough critic, I know) I won't continue reading this series and I won't recommend it to my friends.

****SPOILERS - PLEASE DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED

(SPOILERS) Drew is sixteen. Sixteen! Yet he is pictured as the ultimate chick magnet who goes and sleeps around with every girl he meets. Girls go up to him and give him their phone number - it's called the 'Drew effect'. (No joke) When he is in Disneyland, he meets a girl and has sex with her right away somewhere in the theme park. Even if he is that hot and a chick magnet: I don't think the girl was all by herself in Disneyland. I just don't buy it that a sixteen-year-old girl would have sex with a stranger in the middle of the day in Disneyland, no matter how hot the guy is.

Also, when Summer goes and visit Astor's house and he invites her to stay for the night, her aunt is cool with it. I mean there's not even a weak reason given as for why she has to spend the night with him (in other novels it's usually a storm or something). Again: Summer is sixteen! Astor is a rich teen actor living by himself. "You want to spend the night? Ah, you'll stay in one of the guest rooms? Sure, why not. Have fun, kiddo!" And when Astor is away filming in North Carolina and invites Summer to visit him for the weekend, she's good to go. Nobody seems to have a problem with her flying across the country and staying with a hormonal teen boy without any supervision at all.

Summer's Aunt Sookie has an acting school and Summer, later also Drew and the others, help out with teaching. I'm willing to buy Summer helping out with the teaching (she lives in L.A. after all and has watched her aunt a couple of times). But Drew and the rest? They have no acting experience at all, yet they all teach. Hm. I wouldn't wanna have my acting classes there...

What else? Summer is supposed to be this really nice girl. Yet she has no problem cheating on the boy she's dating - several times. She's mad at Nat because he has a girlfriend back home and didn't wait for her, yet she herself has a boyfriend (Astor). Double standard much?

The drama... well. I suppose there has to be drama. It has mostly to do with the adults, though. Summer's confusion of what she's feeling or whom she really loves - I just don't buy it. As for the three teams: Team Drew, Team Nat, Team Astor - there's not a particular team I'm rooting for since they are all pretty blah and I honestly don't think Summer deserves any of them.(/SPOILERS)


Jellicoe Road
Jellicoe Road
by Melina Marchetta
Edition: Hardcover
66 used & new from $2.79

5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece that will be forever on my bookshelves, June 1, 2012
This review is from: Jellicoe Road (Hardcover)
Maybe once or twice a year, if I'm lucky, I read a book that absolutely blows my mind in every single aspect and keeps me thinking about it for days and weeks after.

THIS is one of those books! The storytelling, the characters, the way the past influences the present and the present reflects the past... beautiful. I absolutely love it and I've already re-read it twice. Yes, this book is a keeper! Read it, you won't regret it.


Second Chance Summer
Second Chance Summer
by Morgan Matson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.60
62 used & new from $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I'm in love with a book..., May 22, 2012
This review is from: Second Chance Summer (Hardcover)
I was looking forward to this book since I really liked "Amy's and Roger's Epic Detour". And I love it! I seriously, honestly love it. The characters, their relationships (especially between her and her dad), their struggles, the writing - it was flawless. And although I knew exactly what was going to happen, this book made me cry. And the last time a book made me cry was about five years ago. Read it, you won't be disappointed.


Unforgivable (Untouchable Book 2)
Unforgivable (Untouchable Book 2)
Price: $3.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not a YA book..., May 20, 2012
Let me start this review with saying that I really enjoyed the first book of this series which I would give a four star rating. I was looking forward to book 2 and now I'm just shaken, disappointed and appalled. I'm going to mention a bit about the first book because it explains why the second one was such a letdown for me.

***WHAT I LIKED ABOUT BOOK 1 "UNTOUCHABLE" ***

I really enjoy the writing style of this author. Also, for a self-published book, I applaud the editing as well as the coverwork. Although unrealistic, I liked book 1 very much. It was clear to me from the start that a story featuring a rich teen (billionaire's daughter) being chased by a mafia hitman would not be very realistic, but since this is the premise of the story and I knew from the go what the central conflict is, I was able to dive into this world and meet the characters. Book 1 was a fun ride with nice dialogue, fun characters and lot of action.

***WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK "UNFORGIVABLE"

Writing style, dialogue, editing and cover art. That's why it still deserves two stars.

***WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK "UNFORGIVABLE"

At first I had difficulties narrowing it down. "Plot" is too vague and I do believe that it is every author's prerogative to take their story where they want it to go. At the same time, it is my right as a reader to not like what they are doing to their story. Details will be below in spoilers. Let me just say that there was one event in particular and how it was handled which pretty much disgusted me. Also, whereas in book 1 I could overlook the unrealistic tendencies of the characters, which pretty much were mainly made up by their background (wealth/mafia etc.), it was too over the top in this book. Keep in mind that Leese just turns 18 in this installment and that she and Ryan are still in High School, about to become seniors. Again, more in the spoilers section. Also, the way Leese's faith is used and mentioned reminds me more of a cult follower than a Christian.

I recommended the first book to friends and family, but I will not do the same for this book. In fact, I'm going to delete it and I will definitely not read the third book. It never happened to me before that I liked book 1 so much and disliked the follow-up with such depth. There seem to be a lot of readers who weren't put off by the events in "Unforgivable". So judge for yourself. If you'd like to know what exactly put me off, please read below in the spoiler sections for details.

***SPOILERS****SPOILERS****SPOILERS****
First big thing I strongly disliked: The lack of adults and way too unrealistic turn of events. Ryan (17, also filthy rich) has his own pilot's license and plane (!) and flees with Leese a few days after her wedding to Micah. His mom pretty much says "fantastic" and off they go to the mountains, where Leese gets a place for them, throws around money and furnishes everything within a couple of hours. She can't fall asleep anymore with anyone by her side since she misses Micah, so Ryan has to do. This whole Ryan-loves-her-but-then-there's-this-other-girl plot is a bit too much for me. I do get that after her sexual awakening Annalise misses the experience, but that she's masturbating in front of another guy and kissing him and such clashes with the rest of her oh-so-religious personality. Also, the mafia isn't a club where you can just get out, join again, get out again as you please. But hey, I'm willing to overlook that.

What I'm not willing to overlook and which is the reason this book put me off is how it handles the topic of physical abuse and rape. There is one scene in which a drunk Micah beats (!) and rapes (!!) Leese. This leads to her pregnancy. But she's so, so happy about the baby and in the end it's all good. She forgives Micah within a heartbeat, good Christian that she is (after all, he was drugged and not really himself), and she has missed him so much and it's great to have him back and that they get to start this new family together! It pretty much even says that the rape was God's will and it's all good because they created a new life together.

Say what???

I have a feeling the author isn't aware of the devastating effects sexual abuse (even within established relationships and married couples) has. Having a family member who was raped repeatedly as well as a friend of mine, I've experienced what emotional turmoil these women had to deal with. I recommended the first book to my friend only a day before I started reading this book. As soon as the rape scene popped up, I called her and told her to not ever read this series which she fortunately hasn't started already. Reading and watching rape scenes on TV is very challenging for her; but the way it was handled in this book would surely upset her. Even if you are raped by the person you love, you can't forgive them ever for this violation of trust. Throw a baby into the mix and it's so much more complicated. My friend loves her little son (she split with her husband which was messy) and she's glad that she kept him, but her heart also breaks every day because he looks so much like the person she grew to despise and her son reminds her of what has happened to her. Her rape, like Leese's, was also a one-time event (alcohol and drugs as well as a jealous and very possessive behavior involved); she's also very religious. She even was able to forgive her ex-husband for this which I think I could never do in a million years. But it was a long and difficult process.

The way Leese deals - or rather not deals - with this situation? It sends a very dangerous message out there, especially considering that this is still supposed to be considered a young adult novel. "He didn't mean it" - "but he loves me" - "but I love him" - is that really what young girls should take away from this book? I believe that as an author you do have a responsibility to your readers. And painting a picture in which rape is an event which is okay as long as it only happens once and your partner loves you - that's disgusting. This has nothing to do with faith. To me, Leese is a slavishly dependent woman. And how the whole rape scene was handled makes me gag.

I might read something else by this author (definitely not the continuation of this series!) because I enjoyed her writing style. I only hope that she'll never, ever handle sensitive topics like rape in such a careless and disrespectful way ever again.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 15, 2012 7:25 AM PDT


The Boy Who Sneaks In My Bedroom Window
The Boy Who Sneaks In My Bedroom Window
Price: $2.99

25 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated..., May 17, 2012
***WHY I READ THIS BOOK***
I've read this book because of the huge amount of excellent reviews. I've stumbled upon lots of amazing self-published stories here on amazon and the raving ratings had me sold, although the title was a bit of a warning flag. But I liked the cover and the description, so I gave it a chance. Now, please keep in mind that everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion. I'd suggest you use the "click to look inside option" to get a first impression of this book. I don't mean to discourage anyone from reading this book; I just think that it is highly overrated.

***MY OPINION***
The writing was fluent for the most part, though sometimes highly repetetive (lots of "smirking" and such) and very cheesy. There are also some irritating changes in the POV later in the novel. It isn't on the same professional level as other self-pubbed books I read and it still needs quite a bit of editing, seeing that on almost every other page there are mistakes to be found. The main characters Amber and Liam are unrealistic, their relationship is very weird. I do understand that this sort of relationship might holds a certain appeal to some readers, but I missed real character and relationship development. Especially Liam's actions were bipolar a couple of times without giving any reasons for it at all. So I'm guessing it was merely added for dramatic effect.

All in all, it was too much drama. I figured that Amber's relationship with her abusive father would make up a huge part of this book. Instead, in the beginning it's all about Liam being a player and how he and Amber kind of have this love-hate thing going on between them. Amber doesn't act like she's having problems having to deal with her father's actions unless it's a backdrop for some Liam time. Especially her sexual awakening happens without any hesitation at all. Amber supposedly can't stand to get touched by guys, yet she's in an incredible number of sexual situations. Her father isn't even mentioned for a very long time before he suddenly shows up again. Again, I have the feeling that the author didn't have a clear concept of where she wanted to take the story from the very beginning and added dramatic events for the sake of it, not because it really helped moving the story or the characters along.

The dialogue was okay at best, but too cheesy and unrealistic for me. The character which had the most unique voice is Liam, although he uses the word "Angel" too often for my liking. As for the plot: there practically is none. Keeping the main characters age in mind (16/17) and the sensitive topics tackled (abuse/rape), I have to say that this book failed as a young adult novel. There are too many clichés and all in all, it left me empty and disappointed.

Personally, I had the feeling that this is more of an erotic novel from which the erotic scenes had been cut out. I won't recommend this book to my friends.

I've done a bit of research on this story since other reviews mentioned wattpad, a website for amateur writers. The story seems to have accumulated quite some fans on there which explains all the five-stars reviews. On goodreads, the reviews are either excellent (five stars) or very poor (one star). It seems this story is very controversial: either you love it or you don't.

**MY RATING**
I give "The Boy Who Sneaks in my Bedroom Window" two stars because I only give one star to stories I wasn't able to finish. Practically no plot, weak dialogue, repetitive writing, poor editing and flat characters - sorry, but I didn't like it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 26, 2012 4:46 AM PDT


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